Rep. Joe Sestak’s silence for President Obama is his newest specter:
Character won him the nomination. Now a lack of it has him in hot water.
Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired three-star admiral and former Clinton White House aide, earned the Senate nod from Pennsylvania Democrats last week by playing up his integrity. He reckoned that if voters saw him as an independent, Kennedy-quoting “vision guy,” as their upright neighbor, then he’d be able to defeat Sen. Arlen Specter, the 80-year-old incumbent. The strategy worked: Sestak won 54 percent of the vote.
Sestak’s star has faded quickly. Following a couple of days of post-election glow, the Philadelphia-area congressman has become mired in a scandal. Sestak continues to be tight-lipped about what exactly the White House whispered last summer, when, according to him, a senior Obama aide dangled a top administrative post — some Chicago-style bait — in exchange for dropping his challenge to Specter. Though Sestak didn’t bite, the episode continues to haunt him.